The Nest Man of India Built 250,000 Homes for Sparrows

Rakesh Khatri, India's nest man.

Rakesh Khatri, an environmental activist in New Delhi, has built over 250,000 nests for house sparrows to protect the birds. (Image: via Eco Roots Foundation)

Known as the nest man of India, one man has set out to build countless homes for sparrows.

The sparrows and other birds that make Delhi their home are at serious risk. The main reasons include rapid industrialization, development, the reduction of wetland areas, and human practices like kite flying. But there is still hope for these creatures.

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Sparrows may be little, but they deserve care. That’s why an environmentalist known as “the nest man” in New Delhi, India’s capital, has built nests for sparrows. He is Rakesh Khatri’s, and his goal is to get more individuals to protect the shelter of birds. 

Further, his dedication to the environment goes beyond building birdhouses. He set up a foundation to raise individual awareness and promote the preservation of birds’ nests. The threats to the sparrow’s habitat encouraged Khatri to do more; he made it his life’s effort to provide safe havens for as many of these birds as possible.

Rakesh Khatri
Rakesh Khatri’s goal is to get more individuals to protect the shelter of birds. (Image: via Eco Roots Foundation)

The life of a man who builds nests for sparrows

The young people of India’s second-largest city took inspiration from one man’s fondness and admiration for the common sparrow. Rakesh Khatri, an environmental activist in New Delhi, has built over 250,000 nests for house sparrows to protect the birds. He is a former documentary filmmaker turned environmentalist who has dedicated his life to protecting ecosystems since 2008. 

He hopes to reverse the decreasing numbers of bird species like the sparrow, myna, robin, and others that depend on human populations for survival. After much trial and error, he developed a nest made of bamboo, fabric, jute, cotton, and other materials that are now used by more than 75 percent of birds. Because of this, sparrow numbers, falling rapidly in 2008, are now stable. 

In addition, he has led several cutting-edge programs funded by a wide range of corporations and institutions and designed to inspire people to think about and work to protect the planet’s biodiversity, ecosystems, and natural resources. For example, he has been instrumental in shaping Eco Roots Foundation’s mission and programming since it was founded as a trustee.

Rakesh Khatri’s motivation behind his sparrow houses

It all started when Rakesh Khatri realized there weren’t any sparrows singing outside his old Delhi window. Rakesh Khatri understood that the expansion of cities and changes in people’s habits had severe consequences for the health of ecosystems. He recalled that, as a kid, he often found sparrows nesting on the tops of switchboards and windows. 

Rakesh Khatri has spent his life taking care of and guarding them. The return of the cheerful sparrow songs inspired Khatri to invest more effort in nest-building. The fake birdhouses were useless at first, making his journey more difficult. Despite this, he kept trying. Using bamboo sticks, he persisted in his attempts until he was successful. 

He began constructing nests throughout the colony, and when the first sparrows moved in, he was encouraged to keep at it. Within a short time, he had taught himself how to construct nests for 40 different species of birds, and he had begun putting them up on the rooftops and balconies of homes and other suitable locations. 

Khatri crafts birdhouses and nests from jute, plastic trash, and other materials that one can set up outside artificial concrete structures in metropolitan areas.

The abundance of sparrows he sees on his commute to work in south Delhi brings him immense pleasure.
The abundance of sparrows he sees on his commute to work in south Delhi brings him immense pleasure. (Image: via Eco Roots Foundation)

The mission of the Eco Roots Foundation

The abundance of sparrows he sees on his commute to work in south Delhi brings him immense pleasure. Then, one day, he saw a pair of men sealing off the openings in the pipes where the sparrows had found shelter. They immediately halted after he threatened to submit a complaint to the National Green Tribunal. 

Khatri wanted to make sure that sparrows were still welcome in Delhi. So he established the Eco Roots Foundation and taught youngsters how to construct nests for sparrows in the nooks and gaps of old buildings. Inspiring others to take action, Rakesh Khatri has been a driving force in the environmental movement. 

Khatri started the Eco Roots Foundation in 2012 to bring focus to the fact that the number of birds is going down. And to promote activities that help songbirds find places to nest. The foundation’s mission is to connect with the next generations, such as students, young professionals, and others, to take action in the declining shelter of sparrows.

Khatri has taught children and adults how to make bird nests out of sticks, grass, and leaves at classes in more than 3,500 schools across India. More than a hundred thousand nests have been constructed thanks to his efforts, and a remarkably high percentage of the birds who fledged from them have returned. 

Better India says that because of his work, nearly half a million nests are made entirely of recycled or naturally degradable materials. Khatri is arranging his next session for teaching to help birds find homes.

A passionate environmentalist with a heart for inspiring others

Rakesh Khatri has proved he is a passionate environmentalist with a heart for inspiring others. By creating a foundation, he connected with thousands of students and people throughout India and encouraged them to help save the sparrows’ habitat. Indeed, his efforts have positively affected the natural world and the people he helps. 

Rakesh’s commitment, enthusiasm, and leadership in improving the world is an inspiring example of humanity. He is India’s nest man. His legacy may encourage the following generations to protect the environment.

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